There has always been a difference between a father and a dad. They may both get up and go to work in order to provide for their families, even if they despise their jobs. Not only to provide a roof over their heads and food on the table, but also to allow them to afford extras such as flute lessons or a family vacation. They may both be physically "present" at their children's sporting events.
Here is a list of these characteristics in no particular order. If your father has these, consider yourself fortunate; if you have them, you have earned the title of "Dad" in my opinion.
They think before they comment
Isn't it obvious? But how many times have you stopped yourself from answering your child's question, "What do you really think about this Dad?" There is a significant distinction between being brutally honest and being thoughtfully honest. Consider the child's true motivation for asking; perhaps it is to gain your approval or to make you proud, rather than to hear your philosophical perspective on the issue.
They interact and play on the child’s level.
"Real men have tea parties with their daughters," as the saying goes. True, a true father interacts with his children on their level; he does not only interact with his child when it is something he is interested in doing himself. He reads the same annoying and boring book three times until he sounds like Mr. Teddy and Mr. Unicorn, and he neglects to style his nails or hair to the point where even his best friend doesn't recognize him.
These are minor moments in a father's day, but they are lasting memories for his child, and they help to form a level of trust and comfort in his son or daughter, solidifying their loving view of him.
They are a good example.
A father demonstrates love, compassion, and patience not only to his family, but to all people. When someone insults him on the road, he does not engage in road rage. He does not verbally or physically abuse others, nor does he dismiss them when they disagree with him.
A father does not insult his children's mother or use his children as pawns to exact revenge on his ex. Some of these examples may seem obvious, but when emotions are running high, people often don't stop to consider how their actions may endanger or harm their child physically or emotionally. This does not imply that you should be perfect and immune to life's stresses. These tensions affect all of us.
They protect their children.
If your child comes to you and tells you that someone has acted inappropriately toward them, your first response should not be to tell them that they are most likely misinterpreting the person's actions. Dads don't assume the child is wrong; instead, they listen. They pose questions and then act. Real fathers immediately reassure their children that they did nothing wrong and that they did the right thing by confiding in them about what happened to them. They tell their children that they will do everything possible to ensure that nothing bad happens again.
I think the kind of relationship that you have with your child is the one that determines whether you will be referred to as a father or dad. It is very rare to find strict and uptight fathers being referred to as 'dad,' and those who are flexible and friendly to their children find themselves being given that title.
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